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2 Chinese nationals confirmed seeking political asylum in Taiwan

2018/09/30 21:33:22

CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 30 (CNA) Two Chinese nationals applied for political asylum from Taiwan upon their arrival on a transit stop at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport four days ago, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said Sunday.

While awaiting fact-checking and instructions by the relevant authorities for handling the case, the NIA said it is keeping the two men at the airport for the time being because they do not have any legal documents allowing them to enter Taiwan.

The agency did not give any details about the identities of the asylum seekers, citing privacy protection, but said they were found at one of the airport's terminal buildings, where they asked for political protection from prosecution in China.

Meanwhile, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the top government body responsible for mainland affairs, said the two men, both of whom were traveling on valid Chinese passports, made the transit stop in Taiwan on Thursday, en route from Thailand to China.

However, they did not board their onward flight, the MAC said, adding that the case is being handled by the relevant authorities.

The asylum seekers' claims will be addressed based on Taiwan's laws and precedent, the council said.

In May, Chinese human rights advocate Huang Yan sought political asylum during a transit in Taiwan.

Holding a refugee certificate issued by the United Nations, Huang was permitted to enter Taiwan, where she stayed for three months before arranging to settle in a third country.

The MAC explained that Huang was permitted to enter the island out of "humanitarian considerations" because she was ill at the time.

With the three-month period, Huang was able to obtain assistance from civil groups in seeking settlement in a third nation, the MAC said.

(By Wu Rui-chi and Elizabeth Hsu)